The influx of imported cars began with dollarization of the economy following the formation of the inclusive government in 2009, and has created a lot of congestion on the roads.
Imported vehicles like Ipsums, Spacios and Mazda Bongos are now common on the country’s major highways, where they are being used by public transporters. Streets in the main cities are clogged with vehicles.
According to clearing agencies, the importation of the vehicles has soared following the government announcement that it would soon ban second-hand vehicles that are more than five years old.
Already cars dealers have started stocking up before the government effects the ban. Statistics show that at least 3 400 vehicles are imported per month, compared to about 3 000 imported for the whole year in 2007.
Most of the owners of these second-hand cars are middle-class citizens, whose dreams of living a modest life, let alone owning a car, were shattered by years of hyperinflation.
“I bought my Toyota from Japan for $500, but the total landing costs amounted to $1600. This is really nothing comparing that local companies are selling cars at an average price of $25 000. Without this facility, I could not have owned a car in my entire life” said Elliton Ncube, a teacher at a private school.
Miriam Machingauta , a sales lady at local footwear manufacturing company, said she bought a Toyota Subaru from Japan last month at a total landing cost of $ 2 000.
“I have been working for the past 20 years and I could not afford to buy myself a car. With these second-hand imported vehicles, everyone working person in the country can now afford to buy a car,” she said.
The “boom” in the second –hand motor vehicles has emerged as a serious threat to such major players in the industry such as Zimoco and Wilowvale Mazda Motor Industries, who are accused of selling cars at prices beyond the reach of many ordinary Zimbabweans.Post published in: Business